Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Did you hear about this?

Anti-Islam message left in vandalism at five mosques
Police » It could be a hate crime if vandals intended to intimidate or terrorize.
By Lindsay Whitehurst
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 10/12/2009 06:28:19 AM MDT

Vandals threw rocks tied with antagonistic notes at five mosques overnight Saturday in South Jordan and Riverton.

A single rock was thrown at glass doors at each mosque, said South Jordan police Officer B.J. Smith. Police have no suspects.

Typewritten notes attached to each rock with a black elastic hair-tie reading: "'Stop spreading your lies, pagans,'" Smith said.

The notes were printed on a single sheet of white paper, and the rocks were baseball-to-softball size. The double-paned, tempered glass was broken in only one of the mosques. In the others, the rock broke through only the first pane of glass and landed outside the buildings.

They were thrown sometime after 10:30 p.m. The incidents were reported between 6 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. Sunday, when worshipers began arriving.

The note may push the investigation into hate-crime territory, depending on whether the vandals intended to "intimidate or terrorize," Smith said.

"It's leaning that way, toward more like a hate crime, but we wouldn't know until we made suspect contact and interviewed them to determine exactly what their intent was," he said.

The police investigation would be conducted in a similar way whether it was a hate crime or not, but if it is found to be a hate crime, a suspect could face enhanced charges, Smith said.

Investigators will likely begin by looking at recent reports of suspicious persons in the area, and asking worshipers and others about people they know who might have had "angry or hurtful feelings toward Islam," Smith said. didn't hear about these incidents? Perhaps it is because I edited the story. Actually, the rocks were thrown at Mormon churches.

Oh, that's different. Though I don't know why.

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